Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Wanted Child: Words and Thoughts

I’m going to completely step into something uncomfortable here: the abortion debate.

I’ve stepped in it before but it’s been awhile.

January is Right to Life month, so I'm getting it in here just at the end.  

I wrote this a few weeks ago but some things I like to sit on it, just make sure that this is what I want to say.  Some stuff never get posted.  I think whatever mistakes or offense I make in this post, I'm willing to make because I am a Pro-Lifer and believe it is worth saying something.  I'm not yet at the point of... I should say, I'm yet waiting for a more active position on this issue where I could really help the cause.

Here, I just want to talk word choices. 

Pro-choice.  Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?  Who wants to be against having choices? 

Not me.


Let’s take a look at what’s really going on, shall we?

What are the Pro-Choice people advocating?  Choice.  The choice to abort a baby, a fetus, a tissue, whichever one wants to call it- I’m not debating that part in this particular post.

I haven’t come across Pro-Choice people who advocate also for the choice for someone to keep their baby or to give the baby for adoption.

What are the Pro-Lifers advocating?  Going through the pregnancy and raising the baby themselves.  Going through the pregnancy and giving the baby for adoption. 

And beyond the initial decision, true Christian Pro-Lifers offer compassion for those whom have already had abortions.  To those whom feel guilt [I’m not saying all do, but people do], we point to Jesus as the giver of forgiveness to those who seek it.

What do Pro-Choice people offer to those who’ve decided to go through with the pregnancy? 

I admit I do not have the answer or a guess on that one.

So I’m just wondering what are the choices that Pro-Choice people are offering.  How pro-choice is that really?

The people who chose to call their campaign Pro-Choice were smart in the way they framed their side of this debate.  It was marketed in a way that many people do not stop to think about it, people on both sides of the issue.  For a long time I was confused about what was going on.

I’m just saying, think about it. 

This is in response to reading another person’s blog post about abortion. 

In the comment thread, I saw something that I had someone tell me once, about how the debate is really between Pro-Choice and Anti-Choice. 

Going through what I said earlier about what people are advocating, is this true?  Are Pro-Lifers actually anti-choice in disguise?’

I mean, let’s be fair about what we’re saying, no matter which side of the issue you’re on.  Pro-Life is, in my opinion, a plainly true label- they are for life.  They are NOT Anti-Choice.  They may be Anti-Abortion, that would be a fair yet incomplete label as they are anti- other things in favor of life as well. 

I'm going to say that I am okay with the opposition calling themselves Pro-Choice.  I think of them more as Pro-Abortion, the more outspoken people on that side of the issue, because that seems to be the choice that they want people to make.  I get it, they only make grounds in the number of abortions that take place, not in the number of people who face the choice and choose to not abort.

Did I miss something on either side?  Please feel free to say so.

What do you think?

Now, Pro-Lifers would do well to further their cause by promoting adoptions, promoting assistance to those who choose to keep their babies, and lead those promotions by example, along with all the other compassionate things that are in place.  I believe many are doing so and I hope one day to be in a position to adopt or to help support an adopting couple.

For further reading on the topic, I recommend reading “unPLANNED” by Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic director and her path to crossing over the line to Pro-Life, for a former insider's perspective on what goes on in those clinics and their motivations behind what they do.  I heard Johnson tell her story on a Focus on the Family program called “Leaving Planned Parenthood” [a two-parter, which I believe may be requested from http://www.focusonthefamily.com/].  She also was a guest on Grounded with Ryan Dobson, “unplanned- the fight for life.”  Read Johnson’s blog here: http://www.abbyjohnson.org/

Johnson’s story is a good place to start thinking about the issue of abortion.

I still say that every child is a wanted child by God. 

“I am flawed/ beautiful/ messy/ valuable/ sarcastic/ funny/ *insert adjective here*/ wanted by God.”  So are you.

Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Chasing Papers & Solid Journals

I write in actual book journals.  You are definitely reading the better writing here, trust me.

Here’s something you probably didn’t know about me- I could’ve made money from an idea that I had.  I could’ve been among early people to pioneer this idea, I just didn’t know what I had done.

Let me explain.  I started journaling… must’ve been around my freshman year of high school.  I would journal in marble composition books.  I found that I wanted to keep things in the book along with the writing, like pictures or letters from people, so I glued a manila envelope to the inside of the back cover of the journal and kept a few things in it. 

And today, many journals will come with a built in back cover pocket to keep stuff in.  They didn’t used to have those. 

Anyways, I think that’s my only great idea kind of story.

I don’t write in composition books anymore.  I like having pretty or interesting notebook journals these days.  I do not like the diaries which have the dates already in them, where one is supposed to write something every day.  I probably would end up missing a lot of days and then not having enough room to write for certain other days.  I don’t like that much of a structure to my journaling. 

I really enjoyed having journals made by Paperchase, which used to be sold at Borders Books & Music.  Now that Borders has closed down, I am in search for new places at which to find good journals.  I was rather sad to find that Paperchase is a UK store with apparently no store in the US, or no US store that sells their items which I could find.

Of their current items, I would’ve liked the Parrot flexible linen A5 notebook, Babushka A6 stitched journal, Circuit Board grey board large wiro notebook, Fantasia leather journal… for just a sample of designs and notebook styles I would usually get.  They also have stationery, some design collections, accessories, etc.  Maybe one day I’ll be able to make a trip to the UK but for now, I’ll miss having easy access to this company.

I like being able to see an item in person, even if only to buy it online later.  I like being able to check things out.

But not to worry… I’ve made a few recent finds.  Not as great a selection in one place, like how I had enjoyed in Paperchase at Borders… but….

Leopard Floral Lined Journal
Barnes & Nobles had a big selection of journals and notebooks online.  I didn’t find too many when I went to check it out in store because it was just after the holiday season, so I’m thinking that much of it was sold and were given as gifts.  I did find one in this print that I had seen on their website.  I’m glad I saw it in store because when looking at things online, sometimes one can forget about the actual size of an item- I did on this notebook- it was much bigger than I usually like my journals to be.  However, I liked the design enough that I bought it anyway.  Plus, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to find much more notebooks I would like anywhere.  I might use this one as a classroom notebook rather than journal, I don’t know yet.

I checked out the Papyrus store as well- I had bought stationery from them in the past when I lived on the mainland.  I still love their products.  They’re mainly a stationery and card store- journals and notebooks were a smaller part of the store, so there wasn’t much by those items that I saw.  I was tempted to get some boxes of note cards though!  I might go back for the FRINGE 5x7 Live Nobly Journal or the Cavallini & Co. Large Travel Journal.  I didn’t get them this time because I had seen online [but didn’t find in store] the Paperblanks Morris Honeysuckle or the Swirling Peacock Ivory Midi Journals that I would like.

VB Life in Progress
in Rhythm & Blues
On a whim, I stopped in at the Vera Bradley store.  I see people with VB bags and I adore the colorful, playful prints; maybe one day I’ll be able to treat myself to a VB bag.  For now, I like looking.  Anyways, I didn’t think about the wonderful accessories and gifts that they also have.  I found a journal in a design that I like.  It even has that back cover pocket to keep things in.  I love writing in it.  I’ll probably stop in the store for future journals.


And that was a lot of shopping for me that day, just for a journal or two but I was in need of them.  I’m glad that I was able to find some. 

So if you’re like me and like to write in journals by hand, check out those stores either online or in person.  I’m sure you’ll find something that you’ll enjoy writing in. 

If you know of any store with journals that I didn’t mention here, please let me know! I’ll check it out to see what I might find.  I like a great many types of designs: the quirky, the pretty, the inspirational, the hilarious, the poetic, the cultural, the vintage, etc. 

Mahalo for reading and happy writing!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My First Kindle Book

Is that the simplest and most straightforward post title I’ve ever used or what?!

As one can imagine, I took the decision for my first Kindle book very seriously.  I read description after description, looked up books I have on my “[to] Read” list, considered, reconsidered, …and so on.  I felt like it should be a classic, like maybe my favorite book “Jane Eyre,” something I already love and read over and over again.  I thought maybe I should read a bestseller, something people are talking about right now so that I might join in on any conversations [which is the reason I read classics in the first place]. 

I had decided on “Invisible Cities” by Italo Calvino. 

I believe it was in my 2nd year of studio when the 3rd year had a studio on bridges with Smulevich.  I was fascinated by what they were doing and I love bridges [I should write on what that means to me someday].  If I remember correctly, they were to read “IC,” pick out a story from the book, and then construct a study model according to their interpretation of the reading.  I might totally be misremembering this project as I wasn’t in that studio, but I completely remember wishing I had been in it.

Back to Kindle, I was disappointed when I found out that I couldn’t get Calvino in Kindle format- it was reserved for Europe only or some such thing.

So back to searching for that one special pick…

I put it to my Facebook community for suggestions for what the first book should be .

All good suggestions, I looked up the ones I wasn’t familiar with yet. 

I have been a fan of James Patterson and have some of his books in hardcover- I felt like I wanted something different.  I think it’s because although he writes well and several series, it’s difficult for me to keep up with a series.  For a time, I was trying to keep up with the Alex Cross series, and then I also liked the first two Woman’s Murder Club series, and then I couldn’t keep up with either.  I do recommend his “Cradle and All” book about a modern day immaculate conception claims- very interesting and surprising to me how it worked out. 

“The Hunger Games” had seemed the most intriguing when I had done my previous searching.  “Holiday in Stone Creek” for some reason probably wouldn’t have interested me had I come across it on my own, but looking into it from Maggie’s suggestion, I find myself curious.

I also enjoy Dean Koontz and Stephen King books.  I thought I might get the next in the Odd Thomas series... 

I chose… tadah!  “The Devil in Pew Number Seven” by Rebecca Alonzo!

I downloaded it on January 1st, even though I have difficulty reading more than one personal reads at a time and I was still into Bevere’s “Lioness Arising.”

I heard about the book from listening to a Grounded podcast [Pop Culture and True Forgiveness, June 6, 2011, ~41:55] with guest Bob DeMoss.  I recommend the Grounded with Ryan Dobson (on Facebook) podcast and that's the link to their Facebook page, if that wasn't clear.

Amazon says: 2011 Retailers Choice Award winner!
Rebecca never felt safe as a child. In 1969, her father, Robert Nichols, moved to Sellerstown, North Carolina, to serve as a pastor. There he found a small community eager to welcome him—with one exception. Refusing to be driven away by acts of intimidation, Rebecca’s father stood his ground until one night when an armed man walked into the family’s kitchen . . . And Rebecca’s life was shattered. It is the amazing true saga of relentless persecution, one family’s faith and courage in the face of it, and a daughter whose parents taught her the power of forgiveness.

I think that last part about forgiveness, which was in pretty much all of the reader’s reviews, was the clincher.  Forgiving, myself and others, is something that I struggle with.  That it was a true horrific story that ends in forgiveness, how is that not intriguing? 

I started reading Alonzo on Sunday night, as I was close to finishing Bevere.  As I type this, I am on Chapter 5, “Under Seige,” which my Fire informs me is 21% of the book.  Alonzo has not disappointed so far and I doubt the story ever will.  I will be done with it shortly.

Check it out for yourself.  I usually don’t recommend a book until I’ve read it myself entirely, but I’m going ahead with this one.  Go for it.

I will probably get "The Hunger Games" and "Holiday..." after this.

Thank you for reading this post and happy reading of established authors!

P.S. if the links I post ever do not work, please let me know?  I try to check them out first myself but just in case.  And yes, please feel welcome to leave a comment at any time on any post about any thing- Mahalo!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Hello Again, Messenger International & Arise

Wow, is this really the first post of 2012?  There’s much I’d like to write, as always, but they’ll take a little time and work.

So I’ll just say, 2009 to 2011, progressively downhill for me.  It was rough so I thank God that I am still here. 

Quite a few things to write about hopefully sometime soon- a friend’s wedding, healing with another friend, a loss of relationships, my first Kindle book, Kindle apps, and it goes on.

Yet first I shall write about today.

Almost exactly a year ago, I attended the first Hope Chapel West Oahu’s Arise Women’s Conference.  It was wonderful! 

The featured speaker was Lisa Bevere.  I am amazed by her, let me say. 

I suppose there is an overall sense that Christian women are to be so soft and tender and fuzzy and pink.  They tend to have very sweet, soft voices and speak very kindly always, never a mean word.

That.  Does not.  Describe.  Me.  Currently, at least. 

Photo from Amazon.com
I’m drawn to passionate, forceful, authoritative people in general.  I am the strong-willed child who sometimes feels like I MUST do this!  When someone is being wronged right in front of my eyes, and especially if they don’t know what to do, I must speak out on behalf of the wronged person.  And I admit, I am not always gentle in the reproof- I mean, I don’t expect my friends to be gentle in rebuking me so I oftentimes don’t think to offer gentleness.    

And so, to listen to Lisa Bevere [and Lisa Kai and John Bevere whom also spoke], I felt a freedom to be able to express myself, or more exactly, to express what God has placed on my heart and to do it as myself.  I can be passionate and authoritative without losing any of the love and care.  I mean to continue learning how to keep the tender care intention should I bring a concern to someone else.

Lisa Bevere spoke mainly from her then upcoming book “Lioness Arising.”  As she talked about the majestic confidence of the lioness, I felt something stir in me. 
Photo from Amazon.com

Then over the recent holiday season, the Bevere’s organization, Messenger International, had discounted their resources for a time.  My financial resources being limited, I thought this was my opportunity to begin reading some of Lisa’s books.  I got a few and donated a little more, being thankful for the discount [I always feel odd about such things with a ministry]. 

I have already finished Lisa’s “Fight like a Girl.”  Just by the title, I’m sure you can see why I was intrigued!  Even though I say I’m a fighter and that I have some masculine character traits, I have always liked being a female.  This book is helping me keep the right and Godly perspective on who I am, made a female, as well as when the women fight and for what.

I am almost through “Lioness Arising.”  I wanted to highlight all of chapter 4 especially so far, on “The Sum of Fear and Wonder” and the point about being concerned over a spiritual skinny fat condition. 

So far, I would recommend both books for any Christian woman.  “Fight like a Girl” would be great for the “feminist” types as well for a greater perspective on the female role [I was in agreement with Lisa’s take on it way before reading her book]. 

I did say something about today, didn’t I?  Here it is.

Today I received something in the mail that I was not expecting.  An envelope from Messenger International.

I’m writing about it in more support of their ministry for several reasons.  One- in reading more about what they do towards ending slave trafficking in “Lioness Arising,” I’d like to see support for their work to increase.  Two- the envelope did not come with a request for more support and a return envelope.  It came simply with a thank you, a mini-message for our [my] encouragement, and a free message on CD titled “Endurance Training.”  I am looking forward to hearing what the message has for me!

I am not against ministries that do send request for funds.  I understand that sometimes one must ask. 

I am simply saying that it was a wonderful surprise from Messenger International to receive an encouragement freely given when what I want to do is encourage them!

Please check out the resources from Messenger International, check out the several mission projects they are involved with, especially with Pearl Alliance which is the fight against human trafficking portion, read one of their books and become acquainted with them as individuals, and most of all, please support them in some way.

And check out Hope Chapel West Oahu- a growing church that I believe is truly following Jesus Christ our Lord.  The second Arise Women’s Conference is coming up at the end of this week and I think it’s not too late to sign up- I’m going!

Or take a peek at Arise 2013!

Last, if anyone would like to watch the DVDs of the Arise 2011 Conference, I can loan them to you.  Just let me know!

Thank you for reading and may 2012 bring us all more goodness.